I was received into the Catholic Church (and Judy returned to it), on 8 February 1991, by the eminent catechist and author Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
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CATHOLIC APOLOGIST, EVANGELIST, AND AUTHOR
BRIEF RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Born July 30, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan. Raised Methodist; converted to non-denominational evangelicalism in 1977. During the 1980s, informally studied Christian apologetics and basic theology extensively, and was active in evangelistic, counter-cult and pro-life work, writing many "tracts" on these subjects. Church-supported missionary to college students from May 1985 until October 1989. Received into the Catholic Church on February 8, 1991 by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., after a year of intense study and discussion. Married to Judy Kozora (October 6, 1984) with four children: three boys and a girl.
FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION / PRESENT EMPLOYMENT
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology (cum laude) from Wayne State University, Detroit, 1982; a broad liberal arts education, including much philosophy and history, and a minor in psychology. Multiple thousands of hours studying theology, Church history, philosophy, and general Christian and Catholic apologetics since 1981 (no formal training in theology). I have about 2000 books in my library (mostly these same subjects).
Full-time author, apologist, evangelist, and free-lance writer (since December 2001).
CATHOLIC ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATIONS
The Bible Christian Society, Inc., headed by John Martignoni, a gifted Catholic apologist and speaker who offers free tapes to the public. John and I will be participating in joint efforts in the future (conferences, possibly tapes, etc.). Tax-deductible donations to my apostolate are channeled through The Bible Christian Society.
Thy Faith, Inc., a non-profit Catholic apologetic and evangelization organization headed by Gary Michuta: PO Box 3529, Farmington Hills, MI 48333-3529. Website: Thy Faith. I am a contributing editor for its bi-monthly periodical, Hands On Apologetics, which is endorsed by Scott Hahn, Karl Keating, and others. A commendatory article on Thy Faith appeared in Patrick Madrid's Envoy magazine (May/June 1998, pp. 17-18), in the regular column "Friends in the Field," by Zoe Romanowsky.
Catholic Information League, an apostolate which produces evangelistic comic tracts. I am the primary or sole author of the text of five of the tracts (all art by Daniel Grajek; consulting editor: Joe Polgar). Endorsed by Karl Keating (This Rock, October 1993, p. 7), Fr. Peter Stravinskas (The Catholic Answer, March/April 1997, p. 27), Envoy (March/April 1997, pp. 17-18; "Friends in the Field," by Tracy Moran), and others. Fr. John A. Hardon (+ 2000) was formerly the senior editor and theological advisor, recommended the tracts on Mother Angelica Live (June 21, 1995), and had even shown them to Pope John Paul II. These comic tracts are now distributed by Grotto Press. See an article on the tracts from Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, December 2001.
The Coming Home Network International, an organization founded by Marcus Grodi (host of the EWTN program The Journey Home); designed to aid and assist Catholic converts, or potential converts (especially Protestant pastors). Advisors to The Coming Home Network include Scott and Kimberly Hahn, Thomas Howard, Fr. Michael Scanlan, Fr. Ray Ryland, Patrick Madrid, Steve Wood, and Karl Keating. It was also recommended in Envoy (March/April 1997, pp. 16-17; "Friends in the Field," by Tracy Moran). I have had several articles published in its periodical, The Coming Home Journal.
Articles and Misc.:
"The Real Martin Luther," The Catholic Answer, Jan/Feb 1993, 32-37.
"A Church Shopper's Road to Catholicism," This Rock, September 1993, 14-16.
"Martin Luther's Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary," Hands On Apologetics, Nov/Dec 1994, 20-23,26.
"Tradition is Not a Dirty Word," Hands On Apologetics, Mar/April 1995, 30-32,34.
"The Communion of Saints," Hands On Apologetics, July/Aug 1995, 8-11.
"Is Development of Doctrine a Corruption of Biblical Teaching?," The Catholic Answer, Sep/Oct 1995, 8-11.
"The Preminence of St. Peter: 45 New Testament Proofs," Hands On Apologetics, Sep/Oct 1995, 8-13.
"Problems With the Proof Texts for 'The Bible Alone,' " Hands On Apologetics, Nov/Dec 1995, 12-13,34.
"A 'Plowboy's' Guide to the Clarity of Scripture," Hands On Apologetics, Jan/Feb 1996, 12-13,24-25,34.
"Converts to Catholicism: G.K. Chesterton," The Coming Home Newsletter, Sep/Oct 1996, 5-7.
"Converts to Catholicism: John Henry Cardinal Newman," The Coming Home Newsletter, Nov/Dec 1996, 4-5.
"The Megabyte Before Christmas" (poem), The Coming Home Newsletter, Nov/Dec 1996, 12.
"The Pre-Eminence of St. Peter: 50 New Testament Proofs," The Catholic Answer, Jan/Feb 1997, 32-35.
"Reflections: Where is the Church?," The Coming Home Newsletter, Jan/Feb 1997, 6.
"Converts to Catholicism: Monsignor Ronald Knox," The Coming Home Newsletter, Jan/Feb 1997, 9.
"Dialogue on Infant Baptism," Hands On Apologetics, March/April 1997, 24-25,32.
"Converts to Catholicism: Malcolm Muggeridge," The Coming Home Newsletter, March/April 1997, 6-7.
"The Imitation of Mary," Hands On Apologetics, May/June 1997, 14-17,21,33-34.
"Why Not the Orthodox Church?," Hands On Apologetics, Sep/Oct 1997, 8-13,27.
"To Orthodox Critics of Catholic Apostolicity: Unity Still Sought," The Catholic Answer, Nov/Dec 1997, 32-35,38-39,62.
"How Newman Convinced Me of the Apostolicity of the Catholic Church," lead conversion (and cover) story (with family photograph), The Coming Home Newsletter, September-December 1997, 1-8. It was also included on a CD-ROM of Catholic theology and historic documents, put out by the organization Catholic World.
"Martin Luther's Devotion to Mary," The Coming Home Journal, January-March 1998, 12-13.
"Dialogue on Liturgical Worship," Hands On Apologetics, Mar/Apr 1998, 28-29,31.
"The Imitation of Mary," The Catholic Answer, May/June 1998, 8-11.
My website was positively reviewed in New Covenant magazine, August, 1998. See Catholic Accolades for the text.
"Why Catholics Have Bigger Bibles," Credo, August 15, 1998, 4.
"Transubstantiation and the Eucharist," The Coming Home Journal, July-December 1998, 12-13, 31.
"St. Augustine's Belief in the Real Presence," The Coming Home Journal, July-December 1998, 18-20.
"The Communion of Saints," The Catholic Answer, Nov/Dec 1998, 8-12.
I received the Award Website of the Year (for 1998) from the staff and advisors of Envoy Magazine, and was a finalist (with three others) for "Best New Evangelist" (Envoy, January/February 1999, 10).
"An Agnostic Meets Dave Armstrong," Hands On Apologetics, two-part series: May/June 1999, 16-17, 24-25, and July/August 1999, 14-17, 24-25.
"Newman Persuaded Me of the Apostolicity of the Catholic Church," The Latin Mass, Fall 1999, Vol. 8, No. 4, 65-71.
"Pope Silvester and the Council of Nicaea," Hands On Apologetics, September/October 1999, 14-17.
"The Perspicuity ('Clearness') of Scripture," The Coming Home Journal, July-December 1999, 16-18.
"Is This God?," Cover story on the Holy Eucharist, Envoy Magazine, January/February 2000, cover and 1, 34-40.
"Martin Luther, Indulgences, and the Origins of the Protestant Revolt," Hands On Apologetics, July/August 2000, vol. 5, No. 3, cover story, 6-9, 11.
"Transubstantiation 0101," Hands On Apologetics, July/August 2000, vol. 5, No. 4, 12-15, 23, 34.
"Interview With a Catholic Apologist" (interview with Peter Vere, JCL) ,November 2001 posted on the Onerock Online website: Interview With A Catholic Evangelist, and in the January 2002 edition of The Write Stuff, the monthly e-zine of The Catholic Writer's Association (CWA).
"Dave Armstrong: Internet Apologist," interview with, and article by Tim Drake, for the regular feature "Diplomatic Corps," Envoy Magazine, Spring 2002, volume 5.6, 8-9.
"Top Ten Questions Catholics Are Asked" -- pamphlet published by Our Sunday Visitor for mass distribution in churches, July 2002.
"Catholics Need to Read Their Bibles," This Rock, February 2004, 20-22.
"On Sinners in the Church: How Could it be Otherwise?," This Rock, April 2004, 25-27.
Review of A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, by Michael J. Miller, in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, May 2004.
"A Quick Ten-Step Refutation of Sola Scriptura," This Rock, September 2004.
"The Pleasures and Perils of a Catholic Apologetics Apostolate," This Rock, November 2004.
Review of The Catholic Verses, by Michael J. Miller, in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, October 2005; reprinted in Ignatius Insight.
Catholic Information League (see my "Catholic affiliations" above) produces excellent apologetic cartoon tracts. I am the sole or primary author of the text of five of these (all art by Dan Grajek; co-editor Joe Polgar): The Cloud of Witnesses, The Resurrection: Hoax or History?, The Class Struggle, Mary: Do Catholics Have a Biblical View?, and Joe Hardhat, the Quintessential Catholic: On Justification.
"The Resurrection: Hoax or History?" (comic tract), co-author and cartoonist Daniel Grajek, This Rock, "Dragnet," February 1994, 8-9 (also briefly mentioned in the October 1993 "Dragnet").
Books (all available for purchase -- follow the linked titles):
"Confessions of a 1980s' Jesus Freak," 241-252 in Surprised by Truth, edited by Patrick Madrid, San Diego: Basilica Press, 1994 (one of eleven conversion stories). Surprised by Truth has sold more than 250,000 copies and is the second-largest Catholic bestseller after the new Catechism of the Catholic Church.
"The Imitation of Mary," chapter 5 in The Catholic Answer Book of Mary, edited by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2000, 31-35.
A Biblical Defense of Catholicism was published in October 2001, by AuthorHouse and in June 2003 by Sophia Institute Press. It includes a Foreword by the late Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
My second book, More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism, was published in February 2002, by AuthorHouse. It includes a Foreword by Dr. Scott Hahn.
My third book, Bible Conversations: Catholic-Protestant Dialogues on the Bible, Tradition, and Salvation, was completed in June 2002.
My fourth book, Development of Catholic Doctrine: Evolution, Revolution, or an Organic Process?, was completed in June 2002.
My fifth book, Mere Christian Apologetics, was completed in September 2002.
My sixth book, Christian Worldview vs. Postmodernism, was completed in September 2002.
My seventh book, Family Matters: Catholic Theology of the Family, was completed in December 2002.
My eighth book, Pensées on Catholic “Traditionalism”, was completed in December 2002.
My ninth book, Protestantism: Critical Reflections of an Ecumenical Catholic, was completed in May 2003.
My tenth book, Twin Scourges: Thoughts on Anti-Catholicism and Theological Liberalism, was completed in June 2003.
My eleventh book, The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants, was published by Sophia Institute Press in August 2004.
My twelfth book, Orthodoxy and Catholicism: A Comparison, was completed in July 2004
I wrote all of the apologetic commentary (44 articles on various topics, on 22 color inserts) for The Catholic Answer Bible, published by Our Sunday Visitor in 2002.
The New Catholic Answer Bible (an expansion of the last-listed work) was published by Our Sunday Visitor in April 2005. I am the co-author of the 88 articles, with Paul Thigpen (my original 44 comprise half of the total).
The Al Kresta Show Live, WDEO, 990 AM, Ann Arbor, MI, from 12:00-12:30 PM EST on 8 September 1997; interviewed concerning my conversion story. Follow the link for the transcript.
"Appearances" (via phone) on the Connecticut Catholic apologetics television program Pillar of Faith (host Dick Kelley), on May 8, 1999 (Development of Doctrine) and May 15, 1999 (Questions and Answers) -- half hour each. Follow the links for the transcripts.
Kresta in the Afternoon (host Al Kresta), WDEO, 990 AM, Ann Arbor, MI, from 3:00-4:00 PM EST on 30 April 2002; interviewed concerning my conversion story and my first book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism.
Faith and Family Live (host Steve Wood), syndicated nationwide by EWTN radio, "A Biblical Defense of Catholicism," 11:00 AM-12 Noon EST, 10 July 2003. See websites: www.dads.org / www.familylifecenter.net.
Catholic Answers Live (host Jerry Usher); affiliated with Karl Keating's apologetic apostolate, Catholic Answers. Syndicated nationally on EWTN radio. "Why We Need More than the Bible" (download), 6:00-7:00 PM EST, 10 October 2003. See the Catholic Answers radio archives for October 2003 (to listen or download). Jerry wrote (letter of 16 October 2003):You did a terrific job . . . I could tell by the response from our listeners . . . that they benefited from the program. We'll be happy to have you on the show again in the future . . . may the Lord continue to bless you and the fine work you're doing.Hands-On Apologetics Live (hosts Gary Michuta and Tony Gerring) on Michigan Catholic Radio: 1090 WCAR in metro Detroit and 1080 in Lansing area. Interview and Q & A, 10:00-11:00 AM EST, 18 October 2003.
Kresta in the Afternoon (host Al Kresta), WDEO, 990 AM, Ann Arbor, MI, from 5:00-5:30 PM EST on 2 April 2004; interviewed concerning general apologetics and my authorship of all the notes for The Catholic Answer Bible.
Live From the Shrine (hosts John Kruse and Julie Komasara), Michigan Catholic Radio: WCAR: 1090 AM. General interview (conversion, books, etc.) by Julie Komasara: 4:15-5:00 PM, 24 September 2004.
REFERENCES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. (respected theologian / prolific author / catechist for Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, close advisor to Pope Paul VI). The late Fr. Hardon wrote the Foreword for my first book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism in writing.
Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas (prominent Catholic apologist and author). My articles have appeared in his magazine The Catholic Answer six times, as of February 2001.
Fr. Ray Ryland (advisor to Catholic Answers and Coming Home Network; prominent ecumenist and apologist).God bless you in your indefatigable labors on behalf of the Faith! Only God knows how many lives your efforts have touched with the truth. May God continually bless you and guide you . . .Dr. Scott Hahn (perhaps the preeminent Catholic apologist today; author of Rome Sweet Home - with his wife Kimberly - and speaker on numerous widely-distributed apologetic cassette tapes; most notably his greatly-influential conversion story). He wrote the Foreword for my second book, More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism.I spent over an hour romping around your website. Nice, very nice . . . Good stuff. Keep up the great work . . . rather remarkable cyber-talents.Steve Ray (author of apologetic books Crossing the Tiber [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997] and Upon This Rock [Ignatius, 1999] ).
Thanks again for the great work you're doing for Christ and His Church. No matter how long it's taken, the Lord clearly has you right where He wants you.Keep up the good work. I am constantly sending people to your page to find answers for their questions and sources for their search.Marcus Grodi (story in Surprised by Truth, director of The Coming Home Network, and host of the live call-in TV show on EWTN: The Journey Home).You utterly amaze me! Such good stuff . . . Dave, keep up your effective and eternally valuable apologetic journalism!Patrick Madrid (well-known Catholic apologist; editor of Surprised by Truth and Envoy Magazine, author of Pope Fiction).I've been noticing a lot of positive comments from around the country on your apologetics efforts on the Internet. Bravo!Dr. Kenneth Howell (Catholic apologist; author of Mary of Nazareth, Queenship Pub. Co., 1998).
I admire, as ever, your fantastic and penetrating work for Christ and His Church.
Keep up the fantastic work with "Biblical Catholicism." All of us at Envoy love it and often refer people to it.You do such good work. Without pride, don't minimize the gifts God has given you. Your web page is excellent and you are obviously a self-taught man.Al Kresta (Catholic talk show host -- Kresta in the Afternoon [Ave Maria Radio] -- and author of Why Do Catholics Genuflect?, Servant, 2001).People regularly tell me how much they appreciate your work. This new book sounds very useful.
About the Author
Dave Armstrong is a full-time Catholic author, apologist, webmaster, and evangelist, who has been actively proclaiming and defending Christianity for more than twenty years. Formerly a campus missionary, as a Protestant, Dave was received into the Catholic Church in 1991, by the late, well-known catechist and theologian, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
His conversion story was published in the bestselling book Surprised by Truth (edited by Patrick Madrid; San Diego: Basilica Press, 1994). Dave’s articles have appeared in many Catholic periodicals, including The Catholic Answer, This Rock, Envoy, Hands On Apologetics, The Coming Home Journal, and The Latin Mass. His apologetic and writing apostolate was the subject of a feature article in the May 2002 issue of Envoy.
His large and popular website, Biblical Evidence for Catholicism (http://www.biblicalcatholic.com), has been online since March 1997, and received the 1998 Catholic Website of the Year award from Envoy Magazine. (Dave was also nominated for Best New Evangelist by the same magazine). It is consistently rated as one of the most-visited Catholic apologetics websites on the Internet, according to the web-rating site, Alexa Web Search (affiliated with amazon.com). In February 2004, Dave started a blog (short for "weblog"), called Cor ad cor loquitur. (http://socrates58.blogspot.com/).
Dave’s first book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (Foreword by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.) was published by Sophia Institute Press in June 2003, and the companion-piece, More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism (Foreword by Dr. Scott Hahn) was published by AuthorHouse in February 2002 (the first book having originally been released by AuthorHouse in October 2001). His book, The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants, was released in August 2004 by Sophia Institute Press.
He has also completed nine more books: Bible Conversations, Development of Catholic Doctrine, Mere Christian Apologetics, Christian Worldview vs. Postmodernism, Family Matters, (or, Catholic Theology of the Family) Pensées on Catholic “Traditionalism” (all in 2002), Protestantism (May 2003), Twin Scourges: Thoughts on Anti-Catholicism and Theological Liberalism (June 2003), and Orthodoxy and Catholicism: A Comparison (July 2004).
Dave was co-author (with Paul Thigpen) of the apologetic commentary (88 articles) for The New Catholic Answer Bible (2005), wrote the pamphlet, Top Ten Questions Catholics Are Asked (2002), and a chapter in the book, The Catholic Answer Book of Mary (edited by Peter M.J. Stravinskas -- 2000) -- all published by Our Sunday Visitor. He has also appeared on the nationally-syndicated Catholic radio shows Faith and Family Live (Steve Wood), Kresta in the Afternoon (Al Kresta), and Catholic Answers Live (Jerry Usher; connected with Karl Keating's apologetic organization).
Dave’s writing has been enthusiastically endorsed by many leading Catholic apologists, authors, and catechists, including Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Marcus Grodi, Patrick Madrid, Steve Ray, Fr. Ray Ryland, and Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Dave married Judy Kozora in 1984; they have four children (three boys and a girl), and live near Detroit, Michigan.
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Updated 25 September 2005.